Glory in Dust

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


This poem is inspired by the seeming anachronism of what Jesus said just after Judas had left the Last Supper on his way out to betray him:

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”

John 13:31

I held off on posting this poem for several days. Here’s what I wrote to a friend about my hesitation:

I have this niggling feeling I’m getting something wrong in the poem, that something’s off.

I believe this is what was troubling me: everything in me wants to associate God’s glory with triumph. But Jesus’ statement that “Now is the Son of Man glorified” comes just at the point in the story where Judas has gone out to help the religious leaders defeat Jesus.

How does Jesus’ putting himself in a place where his enemies could–and would–kill him constitute an instance of God’s glory–the glory of the Father and the glory of the Son?

Here’s one of several answers. I offer this one because it applies to us as it does to Jesus: our submission reveals the glory of a God who is able to make a man who can say “No” but is willing to say “Yes.” If we go all the way back to Job, we see that this glory of God is on display to the universe.

As I have been slowly reading through the Gospel of John, there is a word that Jesus uses frequently about himself. It is “sent.” He wants people to understand and believe that he is sent by the Father. For instance, John records this short prayer of Jesus when the stone had been taken away from Lazarus’ tomb:

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

John 11:41-42
SUBSCRIBE HERE to receive my latest posts and commentary by email.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This